Did you know that Capital Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” anchor has a serious interest in music. Before Steve Milne worked his way into the hearts of Sacramento’s news lovers, he was a jazz announcer and hosted a popular Saturday-night world music program called “Global Beat.” He’s filling in this week for “Blue Dog Jam” Host Nick Brunner and will bring us five selections he plans to feature on this Saturday’s show.
British duo called “Anushka.” It’s a man and a woman: producer Max Wheeler and singer/songwriter Victoria Port. Victoria’s vocals are jazz-influenced, her melodies are sweet and romantic and her voice floats over these bass-heavy beats put together by Max Wheeler. Melodic, jazzy, dance floor sounds. This is a cut from their latest album Broken Circuit; a track titled “Never Can Decide.”
Outlaw Country is how some people describe this next artist. Her name is Nikki Lane…and she’s not your typical slick, commercial, contemporary country artist. Hence the “outlaw” tag. She’s kind of a throwback to an earlier time when country songs actually contained steel guitar. Her second album recently came out. It’s titled All or Nothin’ – it was produced by the front man for The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach. So it’s got that heavy Black Keys vibe with a vintage country twang to it. This track is called “I Don’t Care.”
This is another British group. Seven people in this band…so a lot of musicians. It’s a modern soul band called Jungle. Jungle is led by a couple of guys who go by simply “T” and “J." They grew up together as neighbors in West London. Other than that they’re kind of a mystery. Their self-titled album came out recently. This song is called “Busy Earnin’”.
Owiny Sigoma Band
About five years ago, a group of London based musicians traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to collaborate with some of the local musicians there. It worked out so well that they created a band called Owiny Sigoma, it’s made up of two Kenyan guys and five Brits. Their sound is a blend of traditional Kenyan flavors and Western pop. So you’ve got the sweet, shimmering, Kenyan guitar lines in a pop music framework. The group’s latest album is called “Power Punch” and they call this track: “Harpoon Land.”
A four-man group from England. They’ve been described as: a post-millennial revision of classic British psychedelic music. They embrace prog rock and the improvisation of jazz. The story behind the band’s name: “Syd” is a reference to Pink Floyd pioneer Syd Barrett. The “Arthur” part of their name is kind of a joke. If you put “Syd” and “Arthur” together it sounds like the Hermann Hesse novel “Siddhartha,” which is about a guy who becomes spiritually self aware, a book written in the early ‘20s but embraced by the hippies in the 1960s. Their new album is called Sound Mirror and this track: “Hometown Blues.”
If you love hooks in your music…melodies that stick in your brain…Miniature Tigers is the band for you. An indie-synth-pop band out of Brooklyn, led by singer/songwriter Charlie Brand. They recorded their latest album in Jamaica…hence the title: “Cruel Runnings,” a riff on “Cool Runnings” of course. This cut is “Dream Girl.”
You can catch them live at in San Francisico July 31 at The Rickshaw Spot.